Archive for January, 2012

Crash, burn, repeat.

01/30/2012

So, I interviewed for a job last week and the interview and follow-up phone interview went incredibly well.  It was something I could have hypothetically made a career out of (depending on how the first year or so went).  It was a good job, if not for the commute to NoVA.  Honestly, given that I’m basically wiling to shovel stables for a paycheck at this point, it was a great opportunity.

Today I received that dreaded phone call which indicated that the organization had chosen to go a different direction with the hire.  Understandable.  There are certainly people more qualified for the work and I’m trying to focus on new and different opportunities.

It still sucks, though.

I was given a stark reminder as I hung out with a friend, though, that this is not the worst of all possibilities.*  S/he informed me that one of his/her friends committed suicide recently, and it was clear s/he was in a lot of pain, but was repressing it to get through his/her day to day life because  s/he didn’t have time to deal with it yet.  I’ve been on that side of things, too, and it sucks.  So, really, life isn’t that bad.

It’s just nice to know that I’ve gotten pretty good at finding the eject lever in the plane that is my life and pulling it before impact, even if it’s not really a crash-and-burn situation.

* Not that I really thought that it was, but it’s easy to get caught up in my own myopic view and let job-hunting and rejections get frustrating and upsetting.  More than they should, at least.

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This is awesome

01/27/2012

While I am not necessarily someone who loves dancing (mostly due to the fact that I’m incredibly self conscious about it – I mostly feel ridiculous, and no, two semesters of dance didn’t help), I appreciate it.  This series of videos is freaking awesome.  Even though I am fully aware that I could never look this cool if I tried I thought I’d share it with you.  Enjoy.

Also, Girl Walk’s new album is bad-ass, as you’ll learn if you watch the videos.

I’m a train wreck

01/23/2012

I have two posts on my mind right now, and the focus to complete neither of them.  This is meant to be introspective, and, honestly, is probably more written for me than it is for you.  Why post it to the Internet then, instead of, say, a moleskine?  Excellent question.  I don’t rightly know, other than to say I suppose it’s going to be the catharsis of typing it out and sharing the thought process with somebody else who may have felt this way or who currently does, or may even feel this way in the future.  Forgive me if I digress or if I seem to be channeling a 14-year-old girl who is going through an emo phase.  You’ve been warned, skip it if you want.

One of my best and worst character traits that I may have touched on before is that I’m a helper and a people-pleaser.  I say best because I really do try my best to help people whenever they need me and I’ll often do so at personal expense – be it fiscal, mental, or physical.  I don’t say this as a toot my own horn kinda thing (though, I’m sure some of you who know me better are probably rolling your eyes and thinking I’m a bloated wind-bag*), I’m just trying to put this in perspective.

I say worst because it usually leads to me trying to take all of the stress/anxiety/frustration/what have you of my friends and family of which I am aware** and internalize it and try to carry it for them.  Unlike Sam in The Lord of the Rings, who so insightfully says, “I may not be able to carry [the ring] for you, Mr. Frodo, but I can carry you,” while they’re climbing Mount Doom***, I try to carry the weight of something that isn’t necessarily mine.  The problems with this are numerous, not the least of which is that eventually, my compassion burns out and I’m left bitter, cynical, jaded, and feeling very much that I just wish to be left alone.****  This often leaves me falling off the planet for extended periods of time***** in order to recuperate and take a run at the brick wall that the world is.******

With the above being said, it often leads me to feeling somewhere between a thousand rubber bands which have been spun together at the ends an infinite number of times and a hummingbird on a steady diet of cocaine (not that I actually know what cocaine feels like…but…poetic license or something).  It also leaves me ill-equipped to deal with my own stresses, anxieties, and problems, which, of course, only exacerbates things. It also means I often feel obligated to things that I’m probably not and probably aren’t the best decisions for me, but I’d rather suffer and struggle than “cut and run.”*******

I don’t know exactly how to overcome any of this, other than talking about it to the people I can or writing about it so the universe can maybe relate.  And thus, this.  Maybe I’m writing this all in some pitiful attempt at attention.  I like to think I’m not that a-hole, but maybe I am.  If your only comment at the end of this is, “Hang in there,” or, “You’re awesome,” please, refrain.

Today, the world decided to strap on steel-toed boots and kick me square in the nether-region with a rather healthy dose of my own stress and that of a friend (which I’ll forgo sharing, as it’s not mine to discuss).  My own stress, I’ll elaborate on a bit, and again, I apologize for the whiny-ness of all of this.

I’m 27 years old with two undergraduate degrees – one in unemployment Philosophy and one in Economics – and yet I wait tables and bartend.  I don’t mean that to degrade my work (and, to be honest, I should be more thankful for the fact that I have A job, much less a DREAM job).  I’m constantly questioning what it means to be a man, much less a good one.

I suppose the only thing I really can do is pick up and keep fighting.  Quitting’s not an option.

So, dear reader, thank you for allowing me to vent.  Thank you for being someone who’s decided to share the struggle with me, even when I suck at it.  I hope you’re well, and that I can be a friend when you need one.********

—————

* You’re not wrong.

** And possibly the world.  I have a bit of an Atlas complex (no, I don’t know if that’s a thing, but it gets the point across).

*** A paraphrasing of what I remember from the books (it’s been a couple years) and the movies.  Also, sorry if I just ruined it for you.

**** Not unlike Bilbo by the end of his days.  Also, that’s exactly what I need: more cynicism and jaded.

***** Or, as some of you have lovingly named it, “Daving.”  Also, I need to look into how to number footnotes rather than using an infinite number of asterisks.  Perhaps another post.

****** Here, I’m reminded of Don Quixote tilting at windmills.  I just used two footnotes in one sentence.  God, I’m pretentious.

******* Yes, intellectually, I know that’s stupid.  That’s part of the problem.  Intellectual knowledge and understanding are different.

******** In a healthy way.

Damn it, Jim, I’m a man.

01/12/2012

Sorry for the nonexistence of posts.  I fell into a long rut that I’m still kinda in.  But ignore those long, lonely, post-less days and enjoy this one.

I’ve been reading a lot of Art of Manliness.  I love that site, because, as M-A-T-T explains, it can often be difficult to feel masculine in the world in which we live.  Most of us sit behind desks (or stand behind bars, whatever), drive rather than walk (or ride horses) everywhere.  Generally, there’s not a whole lot to existing as a dude.  I’m not trying to say I’d trade any of this in to live in a time in which disease killed large portions of the population before they had matured or that I want to have to walk or ride a horse to visit my parents (conveniently only between an hour and three hours away – thanks a lot, 95).  But at times it’s definitely difficult to feel as masculine as my gender once was.  But back to AoM.  It’s focused primarily on classical, classy masculinity, like our fathers or grandfathers felt (or, for some of my younger friends, possibly your great-grandfathers).  It’s just a nice place to go and contemplate being a man.

In this vein, my roommate and I have decided both of us are drastically overweight (I know, that comes as a huge surprise) and we’re going to do something about it.  He’s a former Marine who’s currently enrolled in school and I’m working a job which doesn’t afford me a ton of disposable income, so we’re trying to do this relatively inexpensively (read: free).  Today we went for a four mile walk around the local college gravel track (one lap is a mile if you do a figure eight) and while we were still in the first quarter mile, my roommate picked up a big-ol’ rock.  We then proceeded to do a variety of upper body exercises – arm curls, military press, a modified standing bench press, etc. – while walking.  I’ll be perfectly honest, there’s something kinda freaking awesome about lifting with rocks.  Maybe it’s the fact that both he and I are of Pict/Celt/Scott/Irish/whatever descent, maybe it’s just the primal nature of it that appeals to my masculinity, but ultimately, I felt more like a bad-ass doing these exercises with a roughly 10-15 pound rock than I would have with a 25 pound barbell.  Thoughts?